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Masterbuilt Gas Smoker XL

83% Positive Reviews
Rated #3 in Propane Smokers


Pros: Respectable size cabinet 24w x 17d x 33h, easy assembly,

Cons: Worthless chip pan, grease drips all around bottom

MB008.jpgNeeding to replace my old smoker for lack of being able to smoke a large turkey or hang sausage, I was ready to build one from a 55 gallon barrel. All the affordable units were just way too small for my desires. When I was at BPS last week and saw the size of the Masterbuilt Extra Wide Propane Smoker, I had to get one. This unit has (4) adjustable 22" wide x 15" deep racks. That's over 1300 sq inches ! The smoke cabinet itself measures 24w x 17d x 33h. 

Assembly went rather well, except only one of the front legs had 2 holes drilled for the front control panel. I lined up the other leg with clamps & drilled matching holes.

Regardless of which brand you buy, you may desire to make some personal modifications as I've done...just my personal preferences.

None of the electric or gas smokers have casters which makes them rather awkward to move around. On my workbench I built a grill frame from two 3/16" x 2" x 29" flat bar stock. One for the back and one for the front legs. Make sure alignment is perfectly square. Then connected them by welding (10) 3/8 rods 21" long to create a grill. Then I drilled 1/2" holes for the threaded 3" casters, the front two are locking.

The supplied chip pan is worthless, the holes in the pan allow the chips to ignite. I bent a small grill "U" shaped to position over the burner allowing for air space and I use a cast iron skillet for the chips.

I felt the water pan was rather small, so I got a 14" round Stainless Steel pan for 2 bucks from a used resturaunt equipment dealer for water, and cut the two rails on the water grid frame so I could bend the two larger rails to accomodate the larger pan.

None of the supplied temp guages are very accurate. I use two digitals and hang the probe into the backside top vent. One for the smoker temp, the other is the meat probe.

Just a few modifications and I now have a custom designed smoker, I feel is perfect  !!!!


Now Masterbuilt needs to make available a waterproof cover.




Pros: Great price, Large cabinet, good build quality

Cons: Chip pan is junk, water pan is too small

After researching upright propane smokers, I chose the Masterbuilt XL. A lot of SMF members favorably reviewed the GOSM big block, but it was discontinued at Bass Pro Shops and only available online at the time of purchase. First off, the build quality and design is pretty good. It uses a 1/2" square tube frame, similar to custom built upright smokers I have seen online, only smaller. This separates it from much of the competition that uses only stamped sheet metal cabinets. The door is double walled sheet metal that fits OK, but doesn't seal completely and there is no insulation in the smoker anywhere else. Assembly is easy and quick. On my first smoke, I found it is easy to control and bring the temp down to 200 degrees, but I have not yet tried to go lower. There are 4 smoking racks and the slides have extra mounting holes for more flexability.

   Now for the bad news. The chip pan is the single biggest problem and a waste of metal, hence the 3 star rating. It is a thin, porcelin coated pan that uses vent slots in the bottom. This allows far to much heat inside the pan and the wood chunks catch fire. SMF has a number of posts on inexpensive tweaks that solve this problem. Next, the water pan is entirely too small. Its only good for a couple of hours before needing to be refilled. Plan on replacing it with a larger pan. The last problem is one that seems to be shared by all upright mass produced smokers, the door leaks. This is easily fixed with self adhesive felt trim that's readily available online.

   Overall, The Masterbuilt XL is a great value. It's cabinet design and build quality is quite good for a 200 dollar smoker. It has good temperature control and it's large enough to smoke as much meat as the average family is ever likely to cook at any one time.  Once the chip pan and water pan issues are addressed, this is a great addition for any backyard chef.


Pros: Volume of cooking area and Price (No cutting ribs in half - Full rack cooking)

Cons: None if you modify

IMG_4166.JPGIMG_4167.JPGIMG_4168.JPGMasterbuiltPlease excuse the mess on the pics.. Just got finished smokin meat...No one beats this behemoth for the price... You would pay at least 800 dollars for something this size. I smoked 4 full size pork ribs without cutting, 16 chicken thighs and 1 - 5 pound brisket.. I really love this smoker. The rope seal idea is a waste of time and money... I made 2 modifications. 1. I welded the water pan tray to accomidate a 14" stainless steel dog dish. A bowl is too deep get a stainless steel dog dish fits perfect for clearance. Its low profile and got it for only 12.00 on ebay.. No more water problems lasts 12 hours (Dont really understand why you need to smoke/cook more than 8 hrs for anything).   2.  I also welded flat plate on the wood chip bowl to seal the over size slots. Then drilled holes on the feet to make jack bolts to adjust height of the wood chip plate to allow heat of burner to get into smoker..11.00 dollars for 5/16 bolts, nuts and washers..only for 23 dollars made my smoker perfect (This will help with temp, you can lower the pan and make the heat down to 200 degrees) ... I have a friend who has a bradley and paid 425.00 for it.. he is pissed. I could buy 2 of my smokers for his biscut smoker.. People no smoker for the price is better than this... Just be a little creative and slightly modify to make perfect. I cook texas style... 4 hour ribs with my own dry rub and homemade sauce applied last 20 min... for appetizers.. pork rib tips smoked 2.5 hours with sauce. I smoked a perfect brisket (6 lb) in 6.5 hrs.. 3 hrs without foil and 3.5 hours in foil...Perfect 180* internal temp of brisket.. Chicken 3 hours total came out so moist and perfect. I maintain 250* degrees for all cooking... 200 degrees to 230 degrees is just way too low and a waste of time and propane (Save some money). Only smoke meat for 1 hour with wood and the rest of time just cooking with no smoke or you will over smoke and taste like burned timber. I use apple wood or pecan wood.    My dry rub - 3 Tbspn paprika, 3 Tbspn  garlic powder, 1 Tbspn cumin, 1 Tblspn Salt, 1 Tblspn pepper, 1 Tbspn ground mustard, 2 teaspn cheyene pepper, 1 Tblspn ground ginger, 1 Cup white sugar, 2 Cup brown sugar. This dry rub will last you for a few BBQ's. I buy large plastic screw on lid containers on ebay to store the dry rub. I have been doing this for several years and experimented alot. Remember alway use a temp probe to measure if the meat is done....Well i ranted enough... If you have any questions just ask. This is my hobby and passion


Pros: Large capacity. Ease of use. Well built.

Cons: None yet.

I just got this smoker last week, and am using it for the first time today.  After seasoning it, I threw in some ribs and a couple of whole chickens and it still looks empty!  This thing will be able to handle a massive amount of food when the time comes that I'll need it.  I mixed some mesquite and apple woods in the pan and the thing is maintaining at a constant 190-200 degrees on close to its lowest setting.  It is about 25 degrees outside and probably 35 in the garage where the smoker is, so even at cold temperatures I am not having trouble maintaining a good smoking temp.  I just hope when it is 100 outside I can maintain a 200 degree temperature in the smoker, but I'm sure it won't be a problem. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.  I went out to Bass Pro to look at charcoal smokers, and came away with this.  I was pretty skeptical getting anything gas, since I only grill on charcoal and have only smoked using charcoal in the past.  Let me tell you, there is not a noticable difference in taste.  The only difference is that you don't have to constantly worry about temperature.  Just make sure you have enough propane in your tank!  The taste is the same since you are still using wood chips for flavoring.  Go out and get it and if you don't like it, just take it back!  But I'm sure you'll agree.


Pros: Large, cheap, cooks well

Cons: Several reports of the propane hose catching on fire, rusted out quickly

I loved this smoker until we found the control knob melted and fire shooting out of the propane hose.  It lasted about 2 years before it started rusting out badly.  I just bought a Green Mountain Pellet smoker and wish it would smoke as good as this did.


Pros: Lot of space

Cons: Eventually stopped heating up past 150

I bought this smoker and Gander Mountain and I used it quite a bit and have liked it a lot.  The last couple of times I've gone to use it, however, it won't heat up past 150 degrees.  I tried putting a new propane bottle on it to see if that would fix the problem but it won't.  There seems to be a problem with the regulator perhaps?  I've looked into finding a replacement burner/hose line but can't seem to find one. 


Pros: Plenty of room for full rib racks and lots of wings

Cons: Igniter never worked. Regulator failed on 3rd smoke. Sub par parts.

I've had this smoker for about a month now. Originally I was quite happy with it and really didn't even mind that the igniter was bad/intermittent right out of the box.


On the 3rd smoke, it killed $60.00 worth of ribs due to a bad regulator.


Being Sunday, Masterbuilt is closed. I'll call Monday and see if they have an upgrade or if not, I'll either buy a decent regulator or just take the whole tin box back to Bass Pro.


Here's the original review if you want to read it.




Pros: Able to ready load the racks full

Cons: small water and smoker pans

I had read many reviews before getting this smoker. It was recommended to get a cast iron fry pan to replace the small smoker pan which has helped for wood use. Still have problems with regulating the heat. You alsop have to open the box to add more wood decreasing your heat and loss of smoke.


Pros: Volume, and lots of it

Cons: Cheap materials, short life, quick rust. Undersized water pan. Useless wood chip pan.

First year:  had to adjust the door to get decent fit and heat control.

Throw out their tiny water pan and put in a decent sized lasagne/baking dish, unfortunately it means  you have to sacrifice the bottom shelf because there isn't enough room.

The wood pan has wide open areas which allow the flame to come up and ignite the wood. Bad design. I put big ikea skillet on top of it (removing the handle).

I smoked a 25 pound pig and still had plenty of room for sausages, chicken, etc!


Second year: the burner barely put out any heat. Couldn't get much above 150F.  Removed the burner and cleaned it out as much as possible... but there was still something metallic rattling around inside it.


Third year:  DEAD. The metal collar around the burner came off in my hand and crumbled. It and the bottom of the cabinet had rusted away. also the burner seems to be back to being weak and needing cleaning or replacement.


If I knew a metal fabricator I'd have him cut & install a new bottom (stainless?) but I don't think it's worth lugging it to a professional and paying to have it reinforced. If I were going to do that I'd probably also find a 3rd party burner to replace the cheap one from MasterBuilt.


Notice that their warranty is only 90 days and explicitly excludes rust. This tells me that they know that they're using the cheapest steel that they can get away with and they don't care about the longevity of their products.


Pros: Easy, quick to temp, easy assembly, high quality, easy temp regulation big chip bowl

Cons: Water bowl is a tad bit to small for me, but easily fixed.

I have been looking high and low at smokers. I have a friend who is really into smoking, which after tasting some smoked ribs he made, well I could no longer resist. I made sure that I searched high and low for the best reviewed, and best priced smoker I could find. Well I found it. I got mine for 159.00 with free shipping. Bass Pro shop ran the special. I bought it immediately. I received it, set it up, and smoked all in the same weekend. It was wonderful. I tested the temps, and the temp gauge on the front was off of course. Any research will tell you that they are going to be off. Again easy fix. Heat was perfect. I didn't even have to mess around with any oven tape, etc. Easy to use, set the temp, refill the water, and chips. That is it. It is easier than I imagined it to be, since I watch a few friends struggle with their charcoal smokers. Quality is high as well, and the best value I have come across. Even for full price, if I had to do it over, I would pay the full 199.99 price for this thing. Completely worth it!

Masterbuilt Gas Smoker XL

Large capacity propane smoker.

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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